My husband and I became familiar with Waldorf education in Los Angeles, long before we had our daughter. We attended a wonderful Waldorf pre-K in LA, and then decided to move to Florida. We specifically choose Clearwater because of its proximity to Suncoast Waldorf School (the only Waldorf School within hundreds of miles to Tampa Bay,) and have never looked back.
As soon as you drive onto campus, you will feel like you have arrived home. The grounds are magical, as are the individual classrooms. No harsh lighting. No plastic. No blaring visuals on the walls. Everything is just as it should be for the pre-k through Grade 6 crowd: Serene. Nature-based. Nourishing for the soul.
If you are not familiar with Waldorf education and Anthroposophy, do take the time to research it and feel out if it is right for your family. But for us, there was no question that Waldorf schooling would be the only formal education our daughter would ever see. We want a school, and even more importantly, a *community*, that educates the WHOLE CHILD. We want her body, imagination and emotional intelligence developed in conjunction with her mind. We want her to learn creative problem solving, an appreciation of the Arts, critical thinking skills and self-introspection alongside reading, math, science, etc.
With Waldorf, you get it all. There is no compromise. Children are thoroughly prepared for middle school and beyond because they know how to think, reason, deduce, create and solve. They are confident in their bodies and their minds.
Our daughter celebrates each morning she attends school. Walking on to the SWS campus is a joy. Attending school with ethnically and financially diverse, but like-minded parents who prioritize movement over worksheets, nature over screens, and community over the self, is invaluable.
We are now in our third year, and have seen the school grow and evolve so much already. The school is expanding in their 21st year, additional leadership is coming in to support a growing faculty and staff, and the communication between faculty/staff and the parent body is better than ever.
If you are looking for a holistic, alternative school for your child, do take the time to schedule a tour, and experience SWS for yourself.